Sound Off

Don't Be an Asshole or: A Few Words On The Subject of Concert Etiquette

Page 2 of 2

I realize that whether or not someone is being an asshole is subjective. Just because you think someone is being an asshole doesn't really mean they are. For example: Someone steps on your beer, or steps on your foot, or bumps into you causing you to spill your beer. Your immediate reaction is that this dude is being an asshole, but you know, they probably aren't. Concerts are crowded events, the dude just bumped you. No harm, no foul. He apologies, and all is forgiven. (Of course if he doesn't apologize, or at least give you an apologetic head nod, you might be dealing with an asshole.)

But sometimes, there's no getting around it. Sometimes the asshole-ishness is undeniable.

This is the kind of asshole I ran into on Saturday night's Wilco show.

As Wilco began their performance at Gammage Auditorium, a couple sitting in front of my wife and me stood up and started to dance. This in and of itself was not a problem. I know it can be annoying when someone blocks your view by standing -- but that's honestly just a hazard you're going to run into at concerts. You can stand, too, or sit, and just deal with it. So it goes.

But the problem wasn't dancing; it was the manner in which they were dancing. It was as if they were doing their own interpretive dance to Wilco's "One Sunday Morning," and it was completely distracting, something akin to John Malkovich's dance of despair and disillusionment in Being John Malkovich.

Given how much energy they used up in just the first few songs of Wilco's set, I assumed there was no way they would keep it up, and would eventually tucker themselves out. But, amazingly, midway through the show, they were showing no signs of slowing down. Judging by the looks of everyone else around me, these two were just as distracting to everyone else as they were to me. I felt the need to say something.

The question was should I? After all, they had paid for their tickets just like I did. Who am I to tell them how to enjoy the show? They're just enjoying the music, right? I decided to not say anything and instead just silently judge them in my head. I'd try to enjoy the show as best I could.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mike Escoto